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Anger! “Yikes!” How to Understand & Defuse It (You got this.)

Anger may be a huge part of your life, and you may not even know it. But maybe you do know it, and anger management has been elusive for years. Let’s stop the destruction, k? You got this!

Sat in on a trauma seminar recently, and a list of Dr. Steven Stosny’s Core Hurts was in the PowerPoint. Did some Stosny-digging later and came up with buckets of dynamite anger info. And, well, I couldn’t resist sharing. Yes, it’s all the work of suburban D.C. psychologist, author, speaker, and conference leader Steven Stosny, Ph.D. Here’s his CompassionPOWER website.

Alrighty, then – anger according to Stosny. Let’s roll…

Anger is our numero uno self-revealing emotion, and it mobilizes us for one thing, and one thing only – a fight. Anger points directly at the status of our Core Value, and it’s ultimately a cry of powerlessness. Within the realm of anger, the more reactive we become, the more powerless we feel.

Power? It’s the ability to act in our long-term best interest. Responsibility gives us the power to make our lives better. Blame renders us powerless.

Anger | Anger Management | Compassion

Getting to where we need to go in this piece will be a learning progression. First up is Stosny’s perspective on compassion…

  • More important than love, because love without compassion is controlling, possessive, even dangerous
  • A sympathetic understanding of our Core Hurts and those of others
  • Loving others because it makes us feel worthy of love
  • Recognizing the Core Value of self and others, even when we don’t like present behavior or perspectives
  • Motivation to do the right thing
  • Not the same as forgiveness or condoning offenses
  • Not the same as reinstating relationships

Compassion has great healing power and protects us from Core Hurts. However, the more we hurt, the harder it is to feel compassion.

Finally, compassion requires assertiveness – standing up for our rights and feelings. And that’s just huge, because compassion ultimately defuses anger.

Anger | Anger Management | Core Value

Core Value is absolutely everything because it tells us how important, valuable, loving, and lovable we are. Core Value, then, is at the very foundation of our personal security, well being, self-esteem, competence, creativity, and power.

Core Value is the deepest experience of the self. When we’re in touch with Core Value, we can do no wrong. And when the impulse to control or harm arrives, we can bet the farm our Core Value has flattened.

Check-out Stosny’s Statement of Core Value…

I am worthy of respect, value, and compassion, whether or not I get them from others. If I don’t get them from others, it is necessary to feel more worthy, not less. It is necessary to affirm my own deep value as a unique person (child of God). I respect and value myself. I have compassion for my hurt. I have compassion for the hurt of others. I trust myself to act in my best interests and in the best interests of loved ones.

I’m thinkin’ that’s a keeper.

Anger | Anger Management | Core Hurts

Next in our progression is Core Hurts. I’ll list ’em and then we’ll chat…

  • Disregarded
  • Unimportant
  • Accused
  • Guilty
  • Devalued
  • Rejected
  • Powerless
  • Inadequate/Unlovable

When Core Hurts are active a quick drop in self-value takes place. And many of us learned very early in life to protect ourselves from such quick drops by using some form of anger, aggression, or resentment. Any wonder why Core Hurts trigger anger?

NEWSFLASH! The motivation to avoid or numb Core Hurts generates all harmful behavior.

Anger | Anger Management | HEALS

Well, now that we have the pieces in place, let’s put things in relief-motion with HEALS…

  • Healing: Imagine the word “Healing” flashing in front of you. This stops emotional arousal and provides mental imagery to stimulate the body’s healing responses.
  • Explain to yourself the Core Hurt that’s causing the problem.
  • Apply self-compassion. Ask if the external event or someone else’s behavior mean that you’re unimportant, not valuable, or unlovable.
  • Love yourself.
  • Solve the problem. Once you are more calm and relaxed, you’ll have a better ability to solve the problem than when you are psychologically aroused.

HEALS takes us beyond anger management techniques to an automatic regulation of anger and resentment. And that generates power. With repetition, HEALS builds a conditioned response to increase self-value whenever resentment or anger occur. And since HEALS repetition strengthens Core Value, it makes the defensive use of anger and resentment unnecessary.

We’re Done Here

Wow! I know I delivered a ton of info, but I think it’s that important. And, as always, I want you to print the piece so you have it at your fingertips for reference.

In your quest for understanding your anger – anger management – research and consider Dr. Steven Stosny’s work. Well worth your time, I’d say.

You got this!

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